Derby preferred buyer search intensifies

by 24britishtvNov. 21, 2021, 8 p.m. 19
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The administrators of Derby County hope to identify a preferred buyer for the club "in the next two to three weeks".

US businessman Chris Kirchner is the only potential buyer to publicly confirm his interest.

Joint administrator Carl Jackson said others were in the running but they hope to approve a takeover deal by "the back end of January".

The Rams, who beat Bournemouth 3-2 on Sunday, are bottom of the Championship because of the points deductions imposed by the English Football League for going into administration and breaching accounting rules.

Administrators Quantuma said at the outset of the process that they were hopeful of finding a credible buyer for the club after previous owner Mel Morris, who took over in 2015, decided to bow out because of the club's serious financial issues.

Speaking before kick-off against Bournemouth, Jackson told BBC Radio Derby: "We've set out a clear timetable to all interested parties, which they are working to.

"Our expectation is that we'll land on a preferred buyer within the next two to three weeks.

"Our exit from administration will depend on how successful we are are in those discussions with stakeholders and creditors."

Kirchner's interest has been welcomed by manager Wayne Rooney and Jackson said Quantuma were "fine" with him using social media to keep supporters updated on his situation.

"The reality is that we have a process to follow. There are other interested parties who are in this and are doing their own DD (due diligence).

"Wayne, like us, wants this club to survive. Kirchner was first in, Wayne's engaged with him and I'm sure he would engage with others if others came along," he continued.

Derby were the champions of England 1972 and 1975 and have only spent four seasons outside the top two divisions in their entire history.

The win over Bournemouth took them back to zero points following the deductions, but the odds remain against them managing to avoid dropping into League One next season for the first time since 1985-86, which would have a major impact on potential income.

Asked about their initial hope of finalising a takeover by early January, Jackson said: "We'd love to get out of this as quickly as possible, but I think we're looking at towards the back end of January before we get everything wrapped up.

"But I think we'll make a lot of progress between now and then (early January).

"It's very likely that the preferred bidder will be known by then so I think that will give hope and optimism to everyone connected with this club that we're moving forward positively."

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